“There is a question,” our correspondent writes, “that less-sophisticated Americans ask (and more-sophisticated Americans would like to): Why are people in the Middle East so crazy? Here, at the pyramids, was an answer from the earliest days of civilization: People have always been crazy.”
Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism: The Future of the Ideological Civil War Within the West
The Key Concepts of Transnational Progressivism
(1) The ascribed group over the individual citizen
(2) A dichotomy of groups: Oppressor groups vs. Victim groups, with immigrant groups designated as victims
(3) Group proportionalism as the goal of ìfairnessî
(4) The values of all dominant institutions must be changed to reflect the perspectives of the victim groups
(5) The Demographic Imperative
(6) The Redefinition of democracy and ìdemocratic idealsî
(7) Deconstruction of National Narratives and National Symbols
(8) Promotion of the concept of Post-National Citizenship.
(9) The Idea of Transnationalism as a major conceptual tool.
Scholars, publicists, and many others in the Western world, especially the United States, original home of constitutional democracy, have for the past several decades been arguing furiously over the most fundamental political ideas. Talk of a ìculture war,î however, is somewhat misleading, because the arguments over transnational vs. national citizenship, multiculturalism vs. assimilation, and global governance vs. national sovereignty are not simply cultural, but ideological and philosophical. In a word, they are about political philosophyóin the sense that they pose such Aristotelian questions as: What kind of government is best? What is citizenship? What is the best regime?
In America, there is an elemental argument about whether to preserve, improve, and transmit the American regime to future generations or to transform it into a new and different type of polity. In the terms of contemporary political science we are arguing about ìregime maintenanceî vs. ìregime transformation.î
In the final analysis, the challenge to traditional American concepts of citizenship, patriotism, and assimilation from transnational progressivism is total and fundamental. It is a challenge to the regime itself, or to American liberal democracy. If our system is based not on individual rights, but on group consciousness; not on equality of citizenship, but on group preferences for non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) and for certain categories of citizens; not on majority rule within constitutional limits but on power- sharing by different ethnic, racial, gender, and linguistic groups; not on constitutional law, but on transnational law; not on immigrants becoming Americans, but on migrants linked between transnational communities; then the regime will cease to be ìconstitutional,î ìliberal,î ìdemocratic,î and ìAmerican,î in any real sense of those terms, but will become in reality a new hybrid system that is ìpost-constitutional,î ìpost-liberal,î ìpost-democratic,î and ìpost-American.î
This intramural Western conflict between liberal democracy and transnational progressivism began at some point in the mid to late 20th century; it should continue well into the 21st century. It could well turn out to be a perpetual conflict with no permanent winner or loser, a continuous end game that is never concluded. From the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 until the attacks on the heart of the American republic on September 11, 2001, another ìdate which will live in infamy,î the transnational progressives were on the offensive. Since 9/11, however the forces of the liberal-democratic nation state and the American regime in particular appear to be reasserting themselves. Clearly, in the post-September 11 milieu there is a window of opportunity for those who favor a reaffirmation of the traditional norms of liberal-democratic patriotism and a rejection of post-democratic transnational values. Whether that segment of the American intelligentsia committed to liberal democracy as it has hitherto been practiced on these shores has the political will to seize this opportunity is not yet clear. Key areas to watch include official government rationales for the use of force and the conduct of the war; the use and non-use of international law; assimilation- immigration policy; border control; civic education in the public schools; and the state of the patriotic narrative in popular culture.
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“Haruki Murakami is arguably one of Japan’s finest, modern writers and is, increasingly, being seen as one of the top authors working today. The last novel of his to find its way to these shores, Norwegian Wood, was a delightful, if slightly one-dimensional coming-of-age tale. The pyrotechnics of his previous, more surreal novels (Wind Up Bird Chronicle and A Wild Sheep Chase) had disappeared but something of his eccentricity, what made his books such a wonder, had disappeared too. Sputnik Sweetheart is a confident continuation of this more simple style yet one that retains the allegories, the depth of his best work.
….Themes of love, loss, sexuality, identity and selfhood are all interrogated, woven into a compelling, romantic, serious and sometimes sad book. It is a disarmingly simple, hugely satisfying, intelligent and moving work and one of Murakami’s best. Simplicity, sprinkled with a dose of his magic, has enabled Murakami to write candidly, succinctly and beautifully about the complications and difficulties of love and loving. –Mark Thwaite
“Religion didn’t begin to wither away during the twentieth century, as some academic experts had prophesied. Far from it. And the new century will probably see religion explodeóin both intensity and variety. New religions are springing up everywhere. Old ones are mutating with Darwinian restlessness. And the big “problem religion” of the twenty-first century may not be the one you think” MORE
“I saw the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness . . . ” — Allen Ginsberg, HOWL.
“This e-zine is our own “Howl.” We hope that it will encourage you in your own subtle daily rebellions. Think for yourself. Learn to play the drums and start a punk band of thirty-something accountants. Take painting classes and start your own salon d’refuses. Study kung fu or fencing or Swedish massage. Learn Spanish and move to Guatemala. Write a novel. Better yet, write us an article. Most of all, don’t give in to the everyday, mundane, corporate world. Be yourself. Be a CORPORATE MOTHERFUCKER.”
“In his infamous 1971 opus, Steal This Book, Abbie Hoffman presented his own design for urban living outside (and off of) the system…
We know “off-the-grid urban living” seems a contradiction in terms: “Urban living” has, since ancient Mesopotamia, meant dependence on other people and the government, while “off the grid” refers to those folks who want to live independently from Korporate Amerika, specifically off the municipal power grid. They tend to go in for things like solar panels, composting systems, outhouses, and vegetable gardens. Many do it out of a commitment to living in an ecologically correct manner; others do it because they’re afraid the Zionist Occupation government is going to put microchips in their foreheads. (It’s pretty safe to make fun of the second group: While they’re usually heavily armed, they also don’t read the World Wide Web.)
Yet, many of us who don’t want to wipe our asses with twigs and leaves are getting roundly sick of the world of pre-packaged culture. Whether you really want to drop off the face of the earth, or whether you’re just sick of paying through the nose for over- hyped crap, it’s still possible to live in a major metropolitan areaósay, New York or San Franciscoóand not have to deal with the Establishment on a day-to-day basis. In fact, in some ways it’s even easier to get lost in the urban jungle than it is in the backwoodsóit just takes a little know-how. Just remember that when you either want to, or are forced to consume something, the choices we make in who we buy it from are as important as what we buy. Sure, you may feel good drinking that all-organic iced tea, but if you just put your hard-earned $5 into the pocket of some multinational that ass-rapes Burmese tea-farmers, who’s coming out ahead?
So, without further ado, here are our suggestions for revolutionary living. ..”